Friday Food : JAPANESE PRAWN GYOZAS – by Anushka

Having time to pore over dinner on a weeknight can be a rarity, particularly when you have a case the next day.

When I get that opportunity, I like nothing better than to make this straightforward Japanese Gyoza recipe, which is an absolute favourite in my household. It is cathartic to make, delicious to eat, and very kind to your waistline. A great one to impress the friends with too…

The recipe is based on a recipe by Atsuko who runs amazing Japanese cookery classes and events in Shoreditch (London). Single classes are £45 with all ingredients provided and dinner included or she does a five-week course for £195. Check out her website here

Serves 6 as a main meal

Ingredients for gyozas:
2 packets                    gyoza wrappers, available at organic /oriental food shops
800g                           raw prawns, defrosted or fresh (note: you can always have less prawn and more cabbage if you prefer)
400g                           chinese cabbage preferably but white cabbage will do
2 tsp                            salt
4 tsp                            ginger juice
4 tsp                            sake
4 tsp + 2 tbsp             sesame oil

Ingredients for dipping sauce (per person):
2 tbsp                         light soy sauce
2 tbsp                         mirin
2 tbsp                         rice vinegar

Making the filling
Chop the cabbage finely and put in a bowl with 2 teaspoons of salt. Mix it well and leave for 10 minutes so that the salt draws the water in the cabbage out.

Meanwhile, grate some ginger to produce the juice. Also chop the prawns; half very finely chopped so almost like a paste, and the other half, roughly chopped.

Once the cabbage is ready, rinse it and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Then add the ginger juice, prawns, sake and sesame oil.

Stuffing the gyoza
Now, the fiddly bit. I like to sit down and relax in front of the TV for this part:

Take a single circular gyoza wrapper (defrosted if bought frozen), in the palm of your non-dominant hand and put a teaspoon of your filling in the middle.

Using your dominant hand, wet the circumference of the wrapper and then fold the dumpling in half, sealing it only on one side so that the middle of the half-moon is unsealed. Fold the top sheet repeatedly using your fingers so that you create a pleat effect on top, sealing the dumpling as you go. You will end up with a fan effect on the front and a plain back. Make sure there are no holes.

Once all your gyozas are prepared, heat a pan at high heat with 2 tablespoons of oil (I use sesame oil for additional flavour). When hot, add about 20 gyozas into the pan and fry until the bottom starts to go brown.

At this point, lower the heat and add 100ml of water into the pan. Cover with a lid, allowing the gyozas to steam cook.

Prepare your dipping sauce by simply mixing the ingredients as you wait. All the ingredients should be available in your
local supermarket.

When the water has dried up, the gyozas have gone translucent and you are sure there are no ‘soggy bottoms’, take the
gyozas off the heat and serve. Dip into your dipping sauce and enjoy. I like to serve with boiled broccoli drizzled with
soy sauce.

Rarely will you find a more satisfying meal to make or eat! Happy gyoza eating…